Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Asteroid 2013 SU19 to fly by the Earth on Thursday 10 October 2013.

The Asteroid 2013 SU19 is predicted to fly past the Earth at a distance of 10 450 000 km (just over 27 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon) slightly before 7.40 am GMT on Thursday 10 October 2013. There is no danger of the asteroid hitting us; its orbital path does not cross ours, and if it did it would be unlikely to make it through our atmosphere intact. 2013 SU19 is calculated to be between 20 and 62 m in diameter, such an object would be predicted to break up in the atmosphere between 5 and 23 km above the ground, with only fragmentary material reaching the planet's surface.

The calculated orbit of 2013 SU19. JPL Small Body Database Browser.

2013 SU19 was discovered by the University of Arizona's Mt. Lemmon Survey at the Steward Observatory on Mount Lemmon in the Catalina Mountains north of Tucson, on 24 September 2013. The name 2013 SU19 implies the 495th such object discovered in the second half of September 2013 (period 2013 S).

While 2013 SU19 occasionally comes near to the Earth, it does not actually cross our orbital path. It has an elliptical 582 day orbit that takes it from 1.01 AU from the Sun (1.01 times the distance at which the Earth orbits the Sun), slightly outside our orbit to 2.8 AU from the Sun, nearly twice as far from the Sun as Mars, so unless an encounter with another body causes it's orbital path to alter in a very specific way (highly unlikely) there is no chance of it hitting the Earth. As a Near Earth Object that remains strictly outside the orbit of the Earth it is classed as an Amor Family Asteroid.

See also Asteroid 2013 TB6 to pass by the Earth on Wednesday 9 October 2013Asteroid 2013 RN9 to fly past the Earth on Wednesday 9 October 2013Asteroid 2013 RX73 to fly past the Earth on Wednesday 9 October 2012Asteroid 2013 TO4 to pass the Earth on Tuesday 8 October 2013 and Asteroid 2013 SM20 to pass the Earth on Tuesday 8 October 2013.

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